Former Ambassador Robert Ford Admits “Conspiracy Theorists” Were Right – Jihadists Are Majority Of Rebels
by Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post Death squad operative Robert Ford has turned a number of heads recently with his surprising indictments of the so-called “moderate” rebels operating in Syria. Ford, who has long been one of the most vocal cheerleaders of the jihadists – having played a crucial role in organizing and arming them early on – is now openly admitting much of what many in the alternative media have been saying since the beginning of the crisis in 2010 – that al-Qaeda, Nusra, and other jihadist forces make up the overwhelming majority of the alleged “rebellion.”
Of course, there never was anything remotely “moderate” about any of the “rebels” operating under Ford’s tutelage or NATO’s direction. Despite the propaganda necessities of NATO and the US, a “moderate rebel” has yet to have been produced for analysis.
Ford’s willing deceitful adherence to the State Department line of the existence of such ephemeral and mysterious beings known as “moderate rebels” notwithstanding, his admission of the fact that jihadists and al-Qaeda fighters make up the majority of fighters in Syria is something that alternative media journalists and researchers have been labeled as conspiracy theorists for suggesting for years. After having been badgered and mis-labeled by mainstream media propagandists for nearly five years, the establishment may now freely admit what the alternative media analysts have known and reported the entire time.
As McClatchy News writes,
Ford today sounds like a different person from the optimist who only six months ago wrote an essay in Foreign Policy that began: “Don’t believe everything you read in the media: The moderate rebels of Syria are not finished. They have gained ground in different parts of the country and have broken publicly with both the al Qaida affiliate operating there and the jihadists of the Islamic State.”
Now, however, on panels and in speeches, Ford has accused the rebels of collaborating with the Nusra Front, the al Qaida affiliate in Syria that the U.S. declared a terrorist organization more than two years ago. He says opposition infighting has worsened and he laments the fact that extremist groups now rule in most territories outside the Syrian regime’s control.
Ford said part of the problem was that too many rebels – and their patrons in Turkey and Qatar – insisted that Nusra was a homegrown, anti-Assad force when in fact it was an al Qaida affiliate whose ideology was virtually indistinguishable from the Islamic State’s. The Obama administration already has suffered a string of embarrassments involving supplies it’s donated to the rebels ending up in the hands of U.S.-designated terrorist groups.
“Nusra Front is just as dangerous, and yet they keep pretending they’re nice guys, they’re Syrians,” Ford said. “The second problem is, some of our stuff has leaked to them.”
So does this make Ford a conspiracy theorist too? Such claims certainly warranted the label of anyone in the alternative media or any of the few braves souls in the mainstream who suggested these very ideas – that Turkey and Qatar were involved in the funding, directing, and training of al-Qaeda and Nusra fighters for the purposes of overthrowing the secular government of Bashar al-Assad, that al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, and ISIS are indistinguishable, and that the weapons provided to the allegedly “moderate” rebels is merely one stop on the way to ISIS.
Yet, for those who suggest that Ford may be abandoning the strategy of arming al-Qaeda, his subsequent statements should eliminate any such suspicion.
Again, as McClatchy reports,
“The size of the assistance is still too small,” he said. “What are they going to do with 5,000 guys? Or even 10,000 in a year? What’s that going to do?”
The Assad regime is eager to present itself as an alternative, but Ford said the Syrian military had been severely weakened and that it was doubtful the regime could pull off a successful campaign against the extremists. Then there’s the political and moral fallout that would come from a U.S. détente with a man American officials have described since 2011 as a butcher who’s lost the legitimacy to rule.
Ford said the time had come for U.S. officials and their allies to have a serious talk about “boots on the ground,” though he was quick to add that the fighters didn’t need to be American. He said a professional ground force was the only way to wrest Syria from the jihadists.
In other words, Ford is not admitting the fundamentalist and jihadist nature of the opposition to Assad as a means to suggest an end to supporting them, he is admitting it so as to suggest the commitment of a “professional ground force” to Syria. Although he states that this professional ground force does not need to be American, what other professional fighting force could he be referring to? The jihadist “moderates” that the US is currently seeking to train? Ford has already downplayed them and their potential effect. Does he mean military contractors? Does he mean the military of other NATO countries or of NATO as a collective force? Ford was much more elusive in this regard.
Regardless, it should be remembered that Robert Ford is no mere former Ambassador and terrorist cheerleader. Nor has his treachery been isolated to Syria.
Robert Ford served in Iraq at the same time that the death squads were beginning to make their bloody mark on the cohesion of the Iraqi “insurgency,” after being appointed political counselor to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Ford remained in this post from 2004-2006 where he worked closely with John Negroponte, a death squad expert in his own right who was also heavily involved in the organization of the death squads in Iraq. Ford was instrumental in helping make “contacts” with these individuals as well as developing and maintaining relations with them for other purposes such as continued and future terror campaigns.
In fact, Ford was once described by Negroponte as “one of these very tireless people . . . who didn’t mind putting on his flak jacket and helmet and going out of the Green Zone to meet contacts.” In short, Ford acted as a foot soldier in death squad formation.
Attempting to summarize the death squad plan, Michael Hirsh and John Barry of Newsweek wrote in 2005:
[O]ne Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called ‘snatch’ operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. The current thinking is that while U.S. Special Forces would lead operations in, say, Syria, activities inside Iraq itself would be carried out by Iraqi paramilitaries.
Commenting further on the Newsweek article, the Times Online added, “Nor is it clear who would take responsibility for such a programme – the Pentagon or the Central Intelligence Agency. Such covert operations have traditionally been run by the CIA at arm’s length from the administration in power, giving US officials the ability to deny knowledge of it.”
Although the focus of these articles revolve around the question of CIA/Pentagon death squads in Iraq, it is important to notice that, as far back as 2005, it was admitted that there were clear plans to create, fund, and operate death squads in Syria.
Consider also the article entitled “The Redirection” by Seymour Hersh written in 2007 for The New Yorker Magazine. In this article Hersh wrote,
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
Ford’s later action in Syria served the exact same purpose as his presence in Iraq only a few years previous. This time, however, Ford took on a more central role in the affair. Indeed, many Syrians, if not aware of the more sinister acts of Ford, were at least aware that he had been instrumental in fomenting violent rebellion and negative Western public opinion against the ruling government. This is why Ford’s convoy was attacked by “pro-government” Syrians as he rode through town meeting with his terrorist pets.
Ford’s very presence in Syria was nothing more than a destabilization tactic. Indeed, he drew quite a bit of international attention to himself by traveling across the country at will, “meeting with protestors” and turning terrorists into martyrs in the minds of the gullible Western public.
Logically, by “meeting with protestors” one can read “instigating terrorism.” The mainstream media, however, reported Ford’s terror encouragement tour as a heroic act of solidarity with “the people.”
Eventually, after a succession of terror tours the Assad regime finally slapped restrictions on Ford’s travel, requiring him not to leave the boundaries of Damascus. However, Ford openly disregarded those limitations and brazenly began traveling all over Syria, meeting with his terrorist brethren.
There Are No Moderate Rebels In Syria
In reality, the so-called “opposition” in Syria is anything but moderate. As Tony Cartalucci wrote in his article, “In Syria, There Are No Moderates,”
. . . . . there were never, nor are there any “moderates” operating in Syria. The West has intentionally armed and funded Al Qaeda and other sectarian extremists since as early as 2007 in preparation for an engineered sectarian bloodbath serving US-Saudi-Israeli interests. This latest bid to portray the terrorists operating along and within Syria’s borders as “divided” along extremists/moderate lines is a ploy to justify the continued flow of Western cash and arms into Syria to perpetuate the conflict, as well as create conditions along Syria’s borders with which Western partners, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, can justify direct military intervention.
Indeed, even the New York Times has been forced to admit that there are, as Cartalucci expertly argues in his article, no moderates in the ranks of the Syrian death squads. As Ben Hubbard wrote in April, 2013,
In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with Al Qaeda control the power plant, run the bakeries and head a court that applies Islamic law. Elsewhere, they have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce.
Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.
Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of. [emphasis added]
Even one of the FSA commanders, Bassel Idriss, recently admitted to openly collaborating with ISIS and al-Nusra, revealing yet another example of the fact that the “moderate rebels” are not moderate at all.
In an interview with the Daily Star of Lebanon, Idriss stated “We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in . . . Qalamoun . . . . Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.”
Idriss also admitted that many FSA fighters had pledged allegiance to ISIS. He said, “[ISIS] wanted to enhance its presence in the Western Qalamoun area. After the fall of Yabroud and the FSA’s retreat into the hills [around Arsal], many units pledged allegiance [to ISIS]”.
Abu Fidaa, a retired Syrian Army Colonel who is now a part of the Revolutionary Council in the Qalamoun, corroborated Idrisss’ statements by saying that “A very large number of FSA members [in Arsal] have joined ISIS and Nusra. In the end, people want to eat, they want to live, and the Islamic State has everything.”
Not only the FSA, but also the Syrian Revolutionary Front has also openly admitted to working with Nusra and al-Qaeda. The leader of the SRF, Jamaal Maarouf admitted that his brigades coordinate with Nusra and al-Qaeda regularly.